Italien: gefangen in der Schuldenfalle

Roger Bootle von Capital Economics wurde dadurch bekannt, dass er den Wolfson-Preis für das beste Konzept einer ordentlichen Abwicklung des Euro gewann. Er schreibt jeden Montag im Telegraph. Hier beschäftigt er sich mit den Aussichten für Italien. Motto: gefangen in der Schuldenfalle.

  • “Contrary to much received wisdom, in most circumstances, the level of a government’s budget deficit and the accumulated stock of its debt have hardly any impact on the yield on its bonds. As long as the markets are confident (…).” bto: Das konnten wir auch in Griechenland sehen. Das Land war lange schon bankrott, bevor es zu Zinsanstieg und damit der offiziellen Pleite kam.
  • But if investors think that there is going to be a default, then this factor will effectively overwhelm everything else. There is nothing more guaranteed to concentrate an investor’s mind than the prospect of losing all his money.” bto: banal, aber klar. Sobald es Zweifel gibt, ist die Pleite da.
  • The economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff examined the interplay between government debt, financial crisis, and recession. They argued that for the ratio of government debt to GDP, 90pc is the critical level. Beyond this point, debt ratios tend to get out of control and to produce a financial crisis that often ends in economic disaster.” bto: Dies gilt aber so direkt nicht, siehe Italien und vor allem Japan.
  • “When it comes to the prospect of default, over and above the debt ratio, three key factors are important – the underlying rate of economic growth, the rate of inflation, and having your own currency. This last factor can be critical. It allows you to issue and redeem debt in a currency that you issue. And it gives you the ability to set your own interest rates.” bto: Wenn man sich das Geld selber drucken kann, gibt es per Definition keine Gefahr eines offenen Bankrottes.
  •  “During the 19th century, the UK managed to work down its ratio of government debt to GDP from over 200pc after the Napoleonic wars to below 30pc on the eve of the First World War. It did this through a combination of sustained economic growth, fiscal restraint and sustained low interest rates. In the years after the Second World War it achieved a similar feat by similar methods, although this time helped by significant inflation.” bto: Und die wollte auch die EZB genau deshalb erzeugen!
  • “The ratio of Italian public debt to GDP is running at over 130pc. Tellingly, this ratio is higher than it was before the global financial crisis. All these years of austerity during which the Italian public finances have been kept on a tight rein have brought no progress– in fact, the reverse. The reason is easy to fathom. Since Italy joined the euro, the Italian economy has experienced next to no growth. Meanwhile, the rate of inflation has been ground downto nugatory levels.” bto: Das nominale Wachstum in Italien war ganz einfach zu tief für die Schuldenlast und das Zinsniveau.
  • “How to get out of this trap? I suppose it is just about possible that Italy, like the UK in the past, could grow its way out of this problem. If the eurozone were to grow rapidly, and if inflation were to be higher than it has been recently, then the growth rate of Italian money GDP could exceed the rate by which the debt is rising, and hence bring the debt ratio down.” bto: Das halte ich angesichts der demografischen Entwicklung und des geringen Produktivitätswachstums für eine Illusion.
  • “What marks Italy out as a smouldering source of debt crisis is that, unlike Japan, the United States and the UK, Italy does not have the ability to issue debt, nor to redeem it, in a currency that it issues. Nor does it have control of its own interest rates. This puts it in just about the worst of all possible positions. Indeed, it is in a similar position to many emerging market countries that, in the past, have been forced to borrow in dollars.” bto: Das bedeutet nichts anderes, als dass Italien in der Falle zu hoher Schulden, schwachen Wachstums und des Euros steckt.
  • “Not only is the new Italian government intending to launch measures that will increase the deficit, but last week the ECB confirmed that it intends to stop its programme of buying eurozone government bonds, including Italian ones, by January. This will remove a vital prop for the Italian bond market.” bto: Es ist noch abzuwarten, ob es die EZB wirklich tut. Noch sind es ja nur Drohungen.
  • “Some people say that there can’t be an Italian bond market crisis because the majority of Italian government debt is held by Italians. This judgment is completely misplaced. If Italian individuals and institutions start to believe that their government will default, or partially default through re-denominating the debt into a new currency, then they will not be wanting to hold the stuff when the balloon goes up (…).” bto: Die Kapitalflucht ist doch schon länger in vollem Gange.

Abruptes Fazit: “Government bond issuance may be national but default is international.” bto: Und das stimmt.